Last month I shared this post on why sex work should be decriminalised and oh boy were some of you not happy!
So I asked my friend, @happylittleholespod (someone who has been in the industry for 10+ years) what she thought about some of your statements...
"Keeping sex work illegal keeps women safe so they are not forced into sex work"
"Wrong. By removing the laws that prevent reporting of exploitation and abuse,
decriminalisation allows sex workers to work more safely, thereby reducing exclusion and vulnerability. Decriminalisation can also help destigmatise sex work and help resist political, social, and cultural marginalisation of sex workers."
"Sex work leads to human trafficking"
"Sex work and human trafficking are two different things! Sex work is when a person willingly takes part in the sale of sex, which is consensual and doesn’t affect their human rights. This is Sex Work. When a person takes part in the sale of sex through threat, abduction or other means of coercion. This is Sex Trafficking. The key benefit of decriminalisation is an improvement in the relationship between police and sex workers, to the point that sex workers could become key information sources in attempts to uncover human trafficking. Currently, sex workers are afraid to help because they risk arrest."
"Women rely on sex work because of patriarchic and misogynistic structures. "
"A muggles insight is that the sex industry is focused on men, built on the male right to purchase and use women’s bodies. They think this, therefore, reinforces hierarchical gender relations and patriarchal views of sexuality. However, in reality, not all clients are men + sex workers are women. There were of course like anything, subject to these rules. In addition, thinking the sexual pleasures of the women were more commonly irrelevant + that the woman’s role is to submit to a man’s sexual demands, and any intimacy is controlled by the client .
Of course not every consensual encounter at work is of the utmost pleasure to a person, however, I feel that especially in modern times, right to Sex work can still be considered an equal sex act. This is down to many factors. One size does not fit all with this blanket statement. In my experience, sex work can be a huge sexual liberation for many people who struggle in “muggle” relationships to be themselves."
"We should only criminalise the buyers, because all sex workers are the victims."
"Again, my views on this has been covered in varying points in the other answers. I’m afraid I’m on the legalise sex work train unfortunately- Across the board. I have seen plenty of “buyers” and their wallets become the victims too."
"You can't buy consent"
"Yes, but we are talking about sex work not sex trafficking and that is the key difference between the two!"
This article is in no way meant to diminish the severity of sex trafficking which is a very prevalent global problem. Confusing sex work + sex trafficking can have a massive impact on a sex worker's livelihood.
Sex work in many countries is still criminalised which can undermine their ability to seek justice for crimes against them like sexual assault for example. Shutting brothels and other venues without proper investigation deprives sex workers of control over their situation and most importantly safe working conditions.
On top of this, safe online sites are being shut down purely because they are sex-related, making it even harder to make a living. The government should not be telling consenting adults who they can have sexual relations with and on what terms.
Sex trafficking is a very serious issue, but it is very different to regulated sex work and these people are not victims.